PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Fresh off a nice win, the Cincinnati Reds
were ready for a day off.
The Reds held their NL wild-card lead by winning two of three at
Philadelphia. Cincinnati starts a three-game series at NL
Central-leading St. Louis on Tuesday night.
"It was very important to win this series," shortstop Rich
Aurilia said. "We're going to enjoy the off-day and get back to
work. That will be another big series for us. In August, every
series becomes important."
Reds manager Jerry Narron agreed.
"It's going to be like this everyday until the end of the
season," he said. "That's what makes the game fun. Some might say
it's too early to think about pennant races and scoreboard
watching, but this is baseball."
The Phillies fell four games behind the Reds for the extra
playoff spot. Jimmy Rollins had four hits and made a fine play at
shortstop to end the 10th.
"As hard as we play, it seems like we deserve better,"
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "We had a lot of chances but
couldn't capitalize. You'd think one of these times we'd get the
Brandon Phillips led off the Cincinnati 11th with a single
against Ryan Madson (10-8). David Ross sacrificed him and Castro,
who entered the game in the seventh, hit a double. Griffey followed
a single for his 1,600th RBI, 22nd on the career list.
Bill Bray (3-2) pitched the final two innings to earn the win.
Encarnacion had two hits and drove in two runs, extending his
career-high hitting streak to 10 games. In the series, the third
baseman had three homers and six RBI.
Encarnacion's error helped the Phillies score twice in the ninth
to tie it against Eddie Guardado. Encarnacion could not come up
with Rollins' hard grounder, and pinch-hitter Chris Coste hit an
After Chase Utley fanned for the second out, Howard lined a
single to right.
Phillies starter Brett Myers had retired eight straight batters
before Encarnacion launched a ball deep into the left-center field
seats for his 11th homer of the season.
Dunn followed with a drive into the second deck in right for his
team-high 35th homer and Aurilia followed with his 16th homer, a
shot over the left-center field fence.
"It seemed like it happened real quick, like four or five
pitches," Aurilia said. "(Myers) threw more fastballs in that
inning and we were able to take advantage of it."
It was the first time since Oct. 2, 2005, that the Reds had
accomplished the feat. Felipe Lopez, Dunn and Austin Kearns did it
the last time, connecting off St. Louis' Matt Morris in the third
One batter after Aurilia homered, Myers hit David Ross on the
upper left side. Ross exchanged some words with the pitcher while
he made his way to first base. The situation quickly calmed down
and Myers' afternoon was finished.
Howard cut the deficit to 5-3 in the sixth with a two-run homer
into the left-field seats. He raised his NL-leading RBI total to
Cincinnati took a 2-0 lead in the second inning, helped by Ryan
Freel's hard slide.
Pitcher Eric Milton doubled off the center-field fence and Freel
drew a walk. Scott Hatteberg followed with a grounder to second
base that had a chance to be an inning-ending double play, but
Freel's slide caused Rollins to alter his motion. His throw sailed
into the dugout, scoring Milton, and Encarnacion hit an RBI single.
"Freel's play was big," Narron said. "It seems like a little
thing at the time, but it was a huge play in the game."
Encarnacion is 15-for-34 with four homers and 12 RBI
during his 10-game hitting streak. ... Howard's 41 homers ties him
with Cy Williams (1923) for the sixth-most in a single season for
the Phillies. Mike Schmidt (1980) holds the team record with 48.
... The Phillies won the season series over the Reds, 4-2.